If I Mediate My Divorce Do I Still Need a Lawyer? Many people who have experienced divorce describe it is as one of the most difficult times of their lives. In addition to the emotional challenge of ending a relationship with a person they once loved, divorcing couples face a multitude of legal and practical decisions that will affect their lives for years to come. It is no surprise that many couples seek alternatives to traditional divorce proceedings that offer lower cost and reduced stress. For many, mediation is such an option.
California Couples Choose Mediation During Divorce
A growing number of couples choose mediation when facing divorce. Mediation has a number of benefits when compared to more traditional divorce proceedings. For starters, the mediation process offers substantial time and cost savings when compared to litigation. For example, divorcing couples who choose to go to court may have to wait a year or more to get a court date, and even several years longer if either party appeals the court’s decision. A mediation, on the other hand, may be scheduled more quickly, thus offering divorcing couples an opportunity to begin their separate lives sooner without paying for the high-cost of courtroom battle.
Another benefit of mediation is the potential for divorcing couples to preserve some aspect of their relationship. This is particular important to couples who will need to continue to communicate and work together after the divorce, such as when coordinating the care of their children. A mediation is often less contentious than a courtroom divorce and offers couples a greater likelihood of ending their marriage on amicable terms.
Even in a Mediation You Need The Help of An Attorney
Given the benefits of mediation, some divorcing couples may be tempted to ask whether a divorce lawyer is needed at all. However, a divorce is a legal proceeding with legal consequences. Individuals who do not understand their legal rights are more likely to end up reaching an unfair divorce settlement that cannot be remedied. During a mediation, a divorce lawyer can help you do the following:
Select a Mediator – Not all mediators are created equal. An experienced divorce attorney can help you select the best mediator for your needs–a mediator who will best help facilitate a fair agreement between you and your divorcing spouse. Further, mediators offer different types of mediation styles and an attorney can help you choose the type of mediation that best suits your needs.
Understand Your Rights – During a mediation, you may negotiate arrangements concerning such important matters as the family home, spousal support, and child visitation arrangements. You will be better prepared to make such decisions if you understand your legal rights in these matters and how a court is likely to treat such matters. An attorney can give you legal advice and even attend the mediation with you.
Draft an Agreement – Any agreements made during the course of the mediation will need to be properly set forth in order to become binding. An attorney can help draft such agreements in a manner that protects your rights and reflects the agreements you have reached.
Getting Legal Help in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Ukiah
If you are interested in learning more about mediations during a divorce settlement, Beck Law P.C. can help you. The family law attorneys at Beck Law P.C. can help you determine the best method of obtaining a divorce given your unique circumstances. For a free consultation regarding mediation or divorce, contact Beck Law P.C. at 707-576-7175 or visit us online.
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